Heart & Sole Training: Warm Ups, Cool Downs and Stretching

We have just under a month to go until the Lexington Medical Center Heart & Sole Women’s Five Miler, set for April 25 in downtown Columbia. This all-women event, with a 5-mile run, and 3- and 5-mile walks, celebrates the power of a healthy lifestyle and raises awareness about heart disease, the #1 killer of women.

Amanda Castles, personal trainer at Health Directions, Lexington Medical Center’s fitness and wellness gym, is your guide to getting ready for race day! In the video below, she talks about the importance of warm ups, cool downs and stretching.

 

Do you have a question about running or training for a race? Ask us in the comments section below! We’ll get your question to Amanda and she’ll be happy to answer it for you.

To register for the Heart & Sole, visit HeartAndSoleRun.com.

 

 

LMC Heart & Sole Five Miler Training Tips – Shin Splints

Today marks the one-month countdown to the LexMed Heart & Sole Women’s Five Miler! Two of our Every Woman Bloggers bloggers, Crissie Kirby and Lara Winburn, have been hard at work training for the race.

When runners increase their training, many are affected by shin splints. In fact, shin splits is the topic of our next training question, from Crissie, for Health Directions Wellness Coordinator, Amanda Castles.

Crissie: My shins give me a terrible fit. What is the best way to prevent and treat shin splints?

LMC _133Amanda: Shin splints are very common among runners and often occur when your training routine has recently become more intense. With increased activity, the muscle, tendons, and bone in your shin may become overworked. This is what causes you to experience pain along your shinbone. The good news is that most cases of shin splints can be treated with rest, ice, and other self-care measures.

Here are some tips to help you prevent and/or treat your shin splints:

1. Make sure that you are wearing proper running shoes for your feet specifically.  Running shoes are designed to support the arches of your feet (whether you have flat feet, medium or high arches) and the mechanics of your running motion (taking into consideration which direction your foot rolls as you run as well as which part of your foot strikes the ground).  If you need help determining the best pair of running shoes for you, local stores such as Strictly Running and Fleet Feet can help you find the best fit for your needs. Running in shoes that are not worn out and provide proper support for your feet is key to preventing shin splints.

2. Avoid running hills while your shin splints are causing pain.

3. Stretch your calf muscles. You can see a calf stretch demonstrated in our Heart and Sole training video of stretches. You may find it beneficial to stretch your calves before and after your training run. Just remember to do your warm-up before stretching as we do not want to stretch cold muscles!

4. While sitting, trace the alphabet with your toes. Be sure to perform this activity on both legs. You can do this particular activity several times per day.

5. Icing your shins will help to reduce the inflammation. You should ice for 15-20 minutes at a time and you can do this 2-3 times per day.

6. Over-the-counter anti-inflammatory pain relievers, such as ibuprofen or naproxen, can also help to reduce the inflammation and any pain you may be experiencing as a result of your shin splints.

7. You may find that you need to scale back the time or distance that you are logging with your training runs for a little while. Avoid the activities that cause you pain, but don’t give up all physical activity. Try other low-impact exercises like swimming or biking so that you can stay active.

Leave a comment to let us know how your own training is going or to leave a word of encouragement for Crissie and Lara! 

Easter Traditions

By: Leah Prescott

Happy Spring, Columbia! Other than the bugs and pollen, I am so happy to see the end of winter and to welcome warm days. Easter is early this year, so I wanted to share some things we plan to do to celebrate this special season.

Easter Wheatgrass

Sprouting Wheat Grass

It’s always fun to plant with the kids and quick-sprouting wheat grass brings extra quick gratification! All you need is a shallow container, wheat grass seeds, and some eager kids to water them. If you’d like to speed up the process, soak the seeds in water for 12-24 hours, changing out the water once or twice. Then fill some shallow containers with dirt and let the kids cover the dirt with the seeds. (The finished product looks best if the seeds cover every bit of soil). Water gently or spray with a spray bottle several times a day (the kids love this). These eager little guys will start sprouting in a matter of days. After just a couple weeks you will have a thick gorgeous crop of grass. We like to add other spring-y décor and make it our centerpiece for the table. Some grocery stores carry wheat grass or you can order them on Amazon!

The Jesus Storybook Bible

The subtitle says it all: “Every Story whispers His name.” The Jesus Storybook Bible will be going in each of my girls’ Easter Baskets. We already own the digital version but I know they will enjoy having their own copies. This is a beautiful retelling of Scriptures that poetically reveals Jesus at the center of the entire Bible. Rather than simplified Bible Stories, it helps to teach how each passage is tied into the rest of the story of salvation. Amazon has a great price on this item right now!

Easter activities

The Resurrection Eggs

This is by far our very favorite activity over the Easter Season (aside from attending church with family). We have owned this set for three or four years now and we pull them out throughout the year to remember the story of the death and resurrection of Christ. Each egg contains a small item that tells a piece of the story and the booklet includes a verse and explanation for each one. This simple visualization of the story never fails to bring me to tears. I was amazed when the girls began telling the story on their own around age 4, using these simple props. This is an Easter must-have for sure!

Spring cookies

Bird’s Nest Cookies

This recipe is just too easy not to share. It’s a perfect recipe for the kids to help out with and even taste along the way since it’s a no-cook version. The finished product is adorable and delicious!

Ingredients:

  • 12 oz package of butterscotch chips
  • 12 oz package of chow mein noodles
  • Cadbury mini eggs or peanut M&Ms

Instructions:

  • Microwave the butterscotch chips, 30 seconds at a time until melted.
  • Pour over chow mein noodles and gently stir to combine.
  • Form into circles and place “eggs” inside the nest. Allow to cool or quick cool in your fridge. Done!

I hope that you and your family have a truly rich Easter celebration and that you find time to celebrate what makes this day so important!

Getting On My Nerves And Off My Chest

By: Lara Winburn 

In my last blog post I was gearing up to lace up my sneakers for the LexMed Heart & Sole 5 Miler. Let me just say I am slow moving and my shoes are barely tied. I would love to write a post about my training success, the running endorphins, and how I cannot wait for sciatic-nervethe next mile. Unfortunately, at the risk of sounding like a whiner, this post-baby body is keeping me more in the tortoise category hoping to be a hare.

Before I started training I noticed I was having some sciatic nerve pain. This pain (like a litany of other ailments) started during my first pregnancy. If you have never been blessed with sciatic nerve pain, it starts in your rump and runs down your leg. I have only known one thing to remedy this, so I went back to my physical therapist who had “fixed” me before. After being sidelined by my physical therapist, I spent a few weeks just walking…slowly.

Then I felt like my legs were ready to cooperate, but my lungs were not. I am now in day nine of antibiotics and still struggling with stupid bronchitis. Turns out when you have bronchitis you should lay off the running as well. And I can’t even blame that on the post-baby body.

So here is what I am aiming for now….I have a solid six weeks of training if my lungs are given the “all clear” on Friday. Six weeks is plenty of time, right? 42 days, minus a few resting days here and there. Who’s with me? I have the schedule in hand and I am ready to go. I’ll keep you posted.

True Wealth…

By: Shannon Shull

I am rich. Not necessarily with money, that darn stuff that tortures us all and seems to be required to survive. No, I am rich with friendship and love. I have an incredible wealth of friends and loved ones that are here for me through thick and thin, who love me unconditionally, and care for me with all my imperfections.

best friends

When I really sit back and allow myself to think about the number of dear friends that I could call at any moment and would be there for me with an open heart, willing ears and a shoulder to cry on….whew… my heart truly swells. These friends I have do not judge me. They know that together we are human and I too will not judge them. These precious ones in my life know that the love and support is mutual.

What an incredible blessing! I mean really – to have the gift of true friendship is a priceless treasure.

Over the course of our lives, we make friends left and right, on different levels, of course, and in different circumstances. Some friends come and go due to our complicated lives getting in the way… and that’s ok. Though they may have moved on or you’ve lost touch for whatever reason, the memories will last and they’ll always have a special place in your heart.

There is a quote by Elisabeth Foley that states, “the most beautiful discovery true friends make is that they can grow separately without growing apart.” These are the friends, who best friendsfor whatever reason, you just never lose touch with, because no matter how far apart you live from one another or what opposite directions your lives may take you, you still have a bond that is so strong that no time, distance, nor circumstances can interrupt the bond that you have. Months can go by without contact and you get together and fall right into a beautiful, comfortable whirlpool of true friendship that soothes the soul, warms your heart and puts pep into your step. These are the friends that lift you up, allow you to open up, and engage in that deeper act of friendship that embodies the definition.

The Urban Dictionary states, “friendship is actually a form of love, and without such a form of love as friendship our societies would be unbearably dull and alienated from one another.” Don’t you know it!?! Can you imagine your world without friendships and without those key friends in your life who help you hold on to your sanity? I don’t want to dare imagine my life without my most precious, dear friends who are truly priceless treasures in my life.

When this blog entry posts, I will be celebrating one of my very best friend’s 40th birthday. She will have joined me in the ranks of middle age and we plan to not only celebrate turning 40 together, but we also will celebrate our friendship and the fact that it has withstood the test of time! We’ve been best friends since the 1st grade. Considering we’re entering our 40s, that’s an incredibly long time! I won’t go into all the ups and downs we’ve survived together, our many accomplishments, and our precious moments, but I will say best friendsthat we have an indescribable bond that truly upholds the definition of friendship.

 

They say you can always tell when two people are best friends because they are having more fun than it makes sense for them to be having. That is the case with my BFF. We are Shannon & Tammy…Salt & Pepper…Double Trouble…Liz & Tam…we are best friends. And I have no doubt that our friendship will last forever.

So here’s to the beauty and gift of friendships! Treasure all the friendships you have. I know I am ever thankful for them all, because they indeed make you a wealthy person. :)

A Knack for Hacks

By: Chaunte McClure

Lately I haven’t been able to sleep through the night, so unfortunately I grab my phone and start exploring my apps. (Wait; is there an app for that? “That” being insomnia.) Anyway, Pinterest is one of the apps I’ve scrolled through in the wee hours of the morning until sleep decides to show up again. I never get bored, I just get tired of scrolling because there’s so much to discover on Pinterest! Almost T-M-I!

I’ve come across several pins recently about various interesting hacks – cleaning hacks, life hacks, car hacks, decorating hacks, and DIY hacks. What exactly are they? Tips, tricks or shortcuts. We all have some that we use day to day and I thought I’d share a few of mine. Some of them you’ve probably done before or you know someone who has.

  1. Pinterest hacksStop that run in your pantyhose with clear fingernail polish. (Grandma probably taught me this one.)
  2. If your shoes are a little big, put some tissue in the toe of your shoe. (Come on now, you know you’ve done this at some point in your life. I buy insoles nowadays.)
  3. Oh yeah, and when you get a scratch on those black shoes, cover it using a black sharpie. (LOL. Yes, I’ve done it.)
  4. Put the lids on your pots and bowls to help keep your cabinets neatly organized. (I’m slightly OCD.)
  5. Don’t throw that vinyl shower curtain away! Put it in the washing machine with a load of laundry. Hang to dry.
  6. Next time you spill a drink on the carpet, don’t attempt to wipe it. Shake baking soda over the area. It’ll absorb the liquid.

Do you have a knack for hacks? I’m sure you have some great hacks of your own. Please take a moment to share at least one. I’m looking forward to reading them!

Growing Up With Pets

By: Brady Evans

I never thought our cat would be as obsessed with our baby as he is. I mean – we’ve got three dogs. Aren’t dogs the loyal, loving ones? Aren’t cats the aloof, distant ones?

growing up with pets

The dogs are cautious around the baby. They take note of him and move on to a place of quiet or safety. The cat down right invades the baby’s space. While I’m nursing Benjamin, the cat sits in my lap. While I’m changing diapers, you can find the cat on the edge of the changing table. While I’m playing with the baby on the living room floor, the cat overlooks us.

Lots of people rehome their pets when babies come home from the hospital. It could be a permanent rehoming or the type where indoor-kitty became outdoor-kitty and indoor-doggy became outdoor-doggy. We’ve done none of that.

Raising children with pets is already doing great things for our son. He already smiles at the animals and experiences the joys of having pets. He reaches out to feel their warmth and has learned to “pet nicely” by touching with a single finger.

growing up with pets

He already is learning the responsibility of pet ownership. I think. Maybe. He witnesses me care for the horses daily and I narrate our activities in the barn. BabyCenter.com just sent me an email saying our 10 month old understands more than we think ;-)  But in truth, there will come a day, sooner than I think, that Benjamin realizes that sometimes you have to take care of others’ needs before your own.

Our cat is 6 years old. I am sure Benjamin will be 10 years old or more when we say goodbye to our fluffy friend. It is horrible to think about but that’ll be another lesson we can thank our pets for instilling onto our baby.

Pets provide a lifetime of lessons in their short lives – lessons of happiness, responsibility, and tenderness.